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Rodriguez reports to Angels' spring training

2/24/2006 - Los Angeles Angels

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Closer Francisco Rodriguez arrived at spring
training Friday, joining his Los Angeles Angels teammates nine days
after the team's voluntary reporting date for pitchers and
catchers.

The 24-year-old right-hander was initially delayed because of
ailing aunt in Cuba and then had visa problems in his native
Venezuela.
"It was a very unfortunate situation and one that we couldn't
control," Rodriguez said.
The mandatory reporting date is next Tuesday, 33 days before the
major league season opener, but most players arrive early.
"We set these dates to make sure that we have enough time to
get everybody ready," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Nobody
likes it when a guy's not here in camp. You want all your guys to
be on time. We'll just move on and do what we have to next year."
Rodriguez was 2-5 with a 2.67 ERA and 45 saves in 50 chances
last season -- his first year as the Angels' closer.
Rodriguez said he made 15 appearances in winter baseball and
last pitched off a mound Feb. 6 during the Caribbean World Series.
"As far as conditioning, I feel great," he said. "We'll see
how my body responds after today's workout, and we'll start over
once again. Right now, my focus is to be ready on time."
Rodriguez is set to pitch for Venezuela in the World Baseball
Classic. Scioscia said Friday that ace Bartolo Colon will be
available to pitch in a charity game on Thursday against Milwaukee
before leaving to pitch for the Dominican Republic.